Interesting kind of part of the system, such as a Core, a Cache, a Memory node, etc. The different types detected by hwloc are detailed in the hwloc_obj_type_t enumeration.
They are topologically sorted by CPU set into a tree.
- CPU set
The set of logical processors (or processing units) logically included in an object (if it makes sense). They are always expressed using physical logical processor numbers (as announced by the OS). They are implemented as the hwloc_bitmap_t opaque structure. hwloc CPU sets are just masks, they do not have any relation with an operating system actual binding notion like Linux' cpusets.
- Node set
The set of NUMA memory nodes logically included in an object (if it makes sense). They are always expressed using physical node numbers (as announced by the OS). They are implemented with the hwloc_bitmap_t opaque structure. as bitmaps.
A possibly-infinite set of bits used for describing sets of objects such as CPUs (CPU sets) or memory nodes (Node sets). They are implemented with the hwloc_bitmap_t opaque structure.
- Parent object
The object logically containing the current object, for example because its CPU set includes the CPU set of the current object.
- Ancestor object
The parent object, or its own parent object, and so on.
- Children object(s)
The object (or objects) contained in the current object because their CPU set is included in the CPU set of the current object.
The number of children of an object.
- Sibling objects
Objects which have the same parent. They usually have the same type (and hence are cousins, as well), but they may not if the topology is asymmetric.
- Sibling rank
Index to uniquely identify objects which have the same parent, and is always in the range [0, parent_arity).
- Cousin objects
Objects of the same type (and depth) as the current object, even if they do not have the same parent.
Set of objects of the same type and depth. All these objects are cousins.
- OS or physical index
The index that the operating system (OS) uses to identify the object. This may be completely arbitrary, or it may depend on the BIOS configuration.
Nesting level in the object tree, starting from the 0th object.
- Logical index
Index to uniquely identify objects of the same type and depth. It expresses proximity in a generic way. This index is always linear and in the range [0, num_objs_same_type_same_level). Think of it as ``cousin rank.'' The ordering is based on topology first, and then on OS CPU numbers, so it is stable across everything except firmware CPU renumbering.
- Logical processor
- Processing unit
The smallest processing element that can be represented by a hwloc object. It may be a single-core processor, a core of a multicore processor, or a single thread in SMT processor.
The following diagram can help to understand the vocabulary of the relationships by showing the example of a machine with two dual core sockets (with no hardware threads); thus, a topology with 4 levels. Each box with rounded corner corresponds to one hwloc_obj_t, containing the values of the different integer fields (depth, logical_index, etc.), and arrows show to which other hwloc_obj_t pointers point to (first_child, parent, etc.). The L2 cache of the last core is intentionally missing to show how asymmetric topologies are handled.
It should be noted that for PU objects, the logical index -- as computed linearly by hwloc -- is not the same as the OS index.
See also What happens if my topology is asymmetric? for more details.